Staff positions could be added after fund redistribution

News Reporter

More staff positions may be added campuswide after funds from increased student enrollment are dispersed.

Department deans and vice presidents were recently asked to present a list of priority staff positions to President Denise Trauth. The President’s Cabinet will discuss and either approve or deny the requested positions in the next month, said Cynthia Opheim, assistant provost of Academic Affairs.

“It’s my perception we’re not providing as good a level of service as we used to a few years ago because of the sheer number of students we’re working with,” said Bill Nance, vice president of Finance and Support Services.

The President’s Cabinet plans to approve the amount of funding for the additional staff positions in the next month once they have been approved, Nance said.

“Cabinet has actually been talking about this for a number of years, and we never had funds available to increase staff across the university,” Nance said. “With this year’s budget we’re halfway through the fiscal year, it’s obvious that we have some amount of money to spend to increase staff positions.”

Nance said the maximum amount the university can fund for additional staff positions is $1 million.

Most of the staff requests throughout various departments have been for administrative assistance, Opheim said.

“For example, a department might want to request an additional administrative assistant to help out with some of the burden which comes with all these new students,” Opheim said.

The department of Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management is requesting to hire an individual to run a stormwater management permit and program the university needs, Nance said.

Other departments such as Student Affairs and Information Technology have dealt with similar workload situations.

Student Affairs is currently consulting staff members in the department to determine which positions are a priority to propose to Trauth, said Joanne Smith, vice president of Student Affairs.

Smith said the department is always in need of staff, and this will be the first time they will have the possibility to hire at such a large scale.

“Before it has been just one or two positions hired,” Smith said.

Nance said once President’s Cabinet approves the amount of funding and identifies which staff positions will be available, then the department will work with human resources to complete a job audit.

“I think there’s a recognition, not just on the (President’s Cabinet) but across campus, that offices are taxed, and their resources are being taxed because of the lack of employees to provide service,” Nance said. “There’s a stress level there in fact some things might be breaking down.”